SPRINGFIELD – May 24 2011. Governor Pat Quinn today asked President Barack Obama to declare 14 counties major disaster areas to help people and businesses in Southern Illinois recover from historic flooding. Counties requested include Alexander, Franklin, Gallatin, Hardin, Jackson, Lawrence, Massac, Perry, Pope, Pulaski, Randolph, Saline, White and Williamson.
“During the floods, I met with local officials and people affected by the flooding, listened to their stories and saw the widespread devastation caused by the floodwaters,” said Governor Quinn. “Federal assistance is needed to help them recover from this disaster. That’s why we worked quickly to document the damage and submit this request for federal assistance. I ask President Obama to quickly approve this request to help people begin the recovery process.”
Last week, damage assessment teams from the Illinois Emergency Management Agency (IEMA), the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) and affected communities documented the extent of damage to homes and businesses. That assessment found 109 homes were destroyed by severe storms and flooding, 348 suffered major damage and more than 500 others also were damaged.
In addition, 38 businesses in the 14 counties sustained major damage, while 49 additional businesses were also affected by the flooding.
If Governor Quinn’s request is approved, people in the approved counties would be eligible to apply for grants and low-interest SBA loans. In addition, affected businesses would be able to apply for low-interest SBA loans.
Representatives from IEMA and FEMA are meeting with local government officials this week to document expenses related to the flooding, including emergency protective measures, debris removal and repair or replacement of roads, bridges and other public facilities. That information could be used to support a request for federal assistance to help state and local governments recoup 75 percent of eligible flood-related expenses.